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Old 09-12-2016   #11
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 148
Thank you for the input!! Some of this, while I generally know what you are talking about, is slightly over my head 🤔

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Old 09-12-2016   #12
Portland, Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 148
A learning I will go....

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Old 09-12-2016   #13
Rick A's Avatar
Henderson, Nevada
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 32
Only choosing 5 my list of most useful knots would be:

Water knot - used to tie a loop, make anchors on land or on the load with webbing.

Alpine Butterfly - used to put a loop in the middle of the rope without needing the ends.

Figure of eight - stopper knot and follow through knot - use to attach rope to an anchor without a carabiner or tie the loop in the end of your throw bags or other lines. It could also be used to attach two lines together or to make a Prusik.

Prusik - used to attach a loop to a line. Many uses.

Learning to tie these 5 knots will allow you to learn to use them in conjunction for more complex rigging. For example you could use the Alpine Butterfly and a couple half hitches to make a Truckers Hitch or you could use the Alpine Butterfly and the Figure of Eight to make the Boatman's Knot.

Grab some rope and practice.
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Old 09-12-2016   #14
Electric-Mayhem's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 434
All of those a great knots and worth learning if you are wanting to know knots specifically for rescue situations. I'd add the Sheetbend to the mix for combining two ropes. It works really well and is much faster and easier to break when you are done. Its also super good at a combining two different types or sizes of rope. If you need it more secure you can do a double sheetbend. Its a nice efficient knot too since its very similar to a bowline.

Honestly though, the two knots I use the most day to day on the river are a double half hitch and a truckers hitch to quickly secure my raft to the shore. Put the truckers hitch far down the rope and it works well to pull the boat in or let it out as the river goes up or down. A double half hitch is a fast way to tie up too, and is easily undone and changed and tightens itself on whatever you are tying to. The truckers hitch is a great way to tension a rope and add mechanical advantage if you don't have as many tools to work with too.
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Old 09-13-2016   #15
fat guy in a little boat
bigben's Avatar
FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
Paddling Since: 8AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 378
Originally Posted by davbaker View Post
When I used to climb, I would practice my knots in a cold shower in the dark. It worked.
That's actually an awesome idea!

Yet another excuse for raft guides to take cold showers in the dark

All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.
- Spicoli
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Old 09-13-2016   #16
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
There is a wine jug knot that can come in handy as well when you need to cool a bottle/jug of wine in the creek.
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Old 09-13-2016   #17
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 6

The trucker's hitch, of course, for gear.
For everything else, the Family of Eights.
Spatially challenged? Tie the Eight behind your back.
Figure eight follow-through
Figure eight directional
Figure eight on a bite. Self-equalizing Eight. (When you have two anchor points)
And of course, the butterfly, taut-line (trucker's), stopper and water knots.
For fishermen, the strong old uni-knot. But fishermen usually have their own.
And for quick departures, there's a secure, quick release knot without a name.
Okay, it probably has a name, but I disremember. Sorry.
A-a-and, the "no knot". Half a dozen wraps 'round a tree, and drop the rest of your rope over the standing line.
Some say the Bowline is the King of Knots. It's only the Pretender to the throne
The Family of Eights are the royalty.
I've lost a bunch of rope to "welded" knots & bowlines that NObody could untie!
It may take hammer, pliers, and a screwdriver, but a figure-8 will loosen up for you if you keep at it.
Ladies, learn your knots and how to use them. [Please!]
With a few 4'-5' pieces of rope, the guys will be entertained for hours.
Guys, learn your ropes. Learn to set anchors and vectors from the climbing people. You'll be a greater and welcome asset on every trip.
River Rescue? Practice quick and accurate line throwing every chance you get.
Old ranchers, some horse and mule packers and sailing people know the ropes.
And, of course, climbers. River rescue is just mountain rescue turned sideways.
It's like CPR. We learn it for the other guy. I learned these things for YOU!

And now, a few words on CPR.
Dad and I watched Mom die of cardio and respiratory arrest.
Dad was a doctor, but CPR was very new, and he had not yet learned it.
The next person in the family who needed it was Dad. And I watched him die.
You can bet that when I learned CPR and river rescue, my closest friends did too!
I want those around me to have honed skills, for when I really need them.
Statistically, "accidents" happen to .... us. You and me. We screw up.
Besides, successfully peeling someone's boat out of a tight spot withOUT endangering somebody or breaking a whole lot of equipment, is fun.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
Wavester's Avatar
NorCal, California
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 330
Concentrate on the family of figure 8 knots, figure 8 on a bight, figure 8 follow through, etc. These are the knots that are used almost exclusively for rescue purposes due to their strength.
Clove Hitch, used for the ease of tying and removal. Never for life safety.
Prussiks, still widely used for Z-rigs and other rope systems.
Water Knot, for joining webbing, used a lot for anchors.
Sheep bend, for joining two rope ends together of different sizes.
Bowline, Not used for rescue or life safety anymore, just a traditional knot and for fun.
Water Rescue is very basic unlike other rescue disciplines, Keep it SIMPLE.
You don't need a lot of fancy knots.
My background is as a firefighter, fyi....
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
-, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 101
Lots of high speed rescue knots. What do you guys use to tie up your boat every day in camp?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #20
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 25
I use a Tautline Hitch to tie my boat at night. Quick to tie and adjustable for when you are dealing with water level fluctuations.

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